Space Saving Catering Pan Rack Options

Running a catering business requires the ability to do more with less. In many cases catering kitchens are smaller and lack valuable storage space.  Furthermore, the ware, equipment, and of course food and drink, must all fit in the vehicle or trailer used to transport it to the event. Taking up most of that limited space are big and bulky storage and transport racks essential to any foodservice operation. Now for the good news! The future of space saving racks is upon us. Keep reading to learn how to gain more space without sacrificing the equipment you need to grow your catering business.

Nesting Racks

If you could store ten pan racks in the same amount of space you currently need to store seven racks, would that get your attention? If you answered yes, then you are in luck because there are pan racks available that can do just that. So, what type of pan rack can deliver on that claim? Nesting Racks. But what are nesting racks? As the name implies, nesting racks “nest” into each other when not in use rather than sitting next to one other. The ability of these racks to nest together is responsible for a whopping thirty percent space savings over traditional pan racks while still holding the same amount of sheet pans. Because not all spaces and requirements are the same, neither are nesting racks. To select the right nesting pan racks for your specific needs, read on.

The O.G. of space saving nesting racks is the full-size Z-Rack. Though designed and built to perform and function the same as a traditional pan rack while in use, its Z shape is the magic that allows it to nest together with other Z-Racks when stored. All-welded, aluminum Z-Racks are available in the same sheet pan capacity configurations as standard sheet pan racks and have welded crossbar support gussets and 5” plate casters for durability, making the rack a breeze to maneuver. With pan slides designed to hold sheet pans by the bottom of the pan, not by the lip, long gone are the days of pans full of food (dollars) crashing to the floor during transport. If you are looking to add more heavy-duty, dependable racks to your operation, but don’t have enough space, Z-Racks are a no brainer.  
Though not as famous as its cousin Z, the U-Rack has its place in any catering operation looking to save storage space or add more racks.  As you probably guessed, the U-Rack is built in the shape of the letter U with two sides and welded horizontal crossbars with welded gussets on the back of the rack.  Welded 5” plate casters make this one tough, nesting rack! Though the U-Rack is shaped and nests differently than the Z-Rack, the overall space saving benefits are the same.  
Last on the list, but definitely not least, is the space saving rack you’ve been waiting for. With capabilities and features you must see to believe, the ‘Folding’ Z-Rack gives you a peek into the future of space saving racks essential to maximizing your catering operation capabilities. While folding Z-Racks function the same as non-folding Z-Racks, while in use and when being stored, they have a hidden ace up their sleeves. Just as you would play an accordion, pressing in on both sides of the rack at the same time, folds the “hinged” rack as flat as a pancake – well, almost. Just imagine what a flat pan rack can do to help free up storage space. When fully expanded and ready to perform its holding and transport duties, the hinged sides can be locked into place with lift-up locking levers. You can also just slide in a sheet pan and the rack is no longer capable of folding in on itself. When not in use, the folding Z-Rack can nest with other Z-Racks or be completely folded up and hung on a wall, placed in the back of a catering van or slid into a small space where it’s out of the way. 
The Final Verdict

At the end of the day, the final verdict comes down to you and your catering operation’s specific needs. While all the space saving pan racks mentioned above will help to better serve your clients while providing the extra space needed to grow your business, it’s vitally important that you protect your investment by purchasing quality equipment. Don’t discount features like welded crossbar support gussets, welded pan slides, and welded plate casters.  The unique shape and design of these amazing racks require extra support to hold their shape and work properly, so don’t skimp when it comes to choosing quality nesting racks – you’ll be happy you didn’t!

New Age Industrial is the leading aluminum extruder and fabricator of storage and transportation equipment in the United States. We design and manufacture heavy duty, yet lightweight aluminum products to meet your exact needs. We work with various industries including foodservice, supermarket, and material handling. For more information, contact us today, and our team will help find you the perfect product that fits your needs.